New Eats and Old Friends

This week has been full of healthy surprises, both old and new!

NEW: Weekly TSA Box

This year we signed up for a TSA share. It’s similar to CSA (community supported agriculture) but the farm we signed up with calls it TSA (tribally supported agriculture). The Star Tribune did an article about it this week  if you are curious! startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/124298393.html Every week we get a big box of organic, locally grown veggies. What I really like about it is that we get veggies we’ve never tried before, and probably wouldn’t pick out at the store. So far, the new veggies that we’ve gotten are kalorabi (LOVED it), turnips (Liked it), garlic scapes (ehhh), swiss chard (haven’t tried it yet), and lots of different varieties of heirloom lettuce (LOVE). This summer we will definitely be having a very diverse and healthy diet!

OLD: Swimming

The doctor approved me to do some swimming, so i’m finally back to getting some real cardio into my routine! I won’t be able to run for another 3 months, so me and the pool are going to become very good friends. I used to swim in highschool, and I am SO glad that I know how to swim. If I wasn’t a swimmer, I wouldn’t be able to workout for 3 more months! But it’s been a while since I’ve done any serious time in the pool and It’s pretty weird/hard getting back into it! This week I peaked at an 1800 meter workout (pretty pathetic if I think about how much I’d swim in one swim team practice…so I try not to think about it!). Next weeks goal is to get up to 2ooo in one workout!

NEW: Underwater MP3 Player

This is possibly the best investment I’ve made in a while! I think the reason I stopped swimming on my own was because it was just so boring, compared to running/working out with my iPod. But swimming with music? It’s even more fun than running with music! The player I chose is called the SwiMP3 player and it doesn’t use earphones but rather transmits sound through vibration. It works great, even if I do look extremely dorky when I use it! I can’t wait to go swimming again today after work!

I look forward to posting new recipes using NEW veggies this summer! And I encourage you to investigate buying a CSA share next year, its definitley worth it!

Have a happy healthy 4th of July weekend!

Caitlin

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Success!…Limoncello and a Gimp Workout (not together!)

I finished my Limoncello last night, and I’m happy to say, it turned out great (in my opinion)! SO, here’s my recipe for making this delicious Italian lemon liqueur:

Caitlin’s Limoncello:
20 Organic Meyer Lemons
2 Bottles of Everclear (the real stuff, not the kind you get in MN)
7 C. Sugar
6.5 C. Water
 
~ Wash the lemons really really well.
~ Peel JUST the yellow part off the lemon.
~ Soak the lemon peels in the Everclear for 1 month in a well sealed glass jar or container.
~ 1 month later…make a simple syrup by boiling the water and stirring in the sugar. Mix WELL. Let cool.
~ Take the lemon peels out of the Everclear (I used a slotted spoon)
~ Add simple syrup into Everclear mixture and let it sit overnight.
~ Filter mixture (use a coffee filter or a Brita pitcher…the brita method worked better for me)
~ Pour into sanitized bottles
~ Enjoy chilled!
 

Usually Limoncello looks a lot lighter…I used natural sugar, which is why mine kind of looks like pee. But it still tastes great! But if you want that light yellow look…definitley go for the regular old white sugar. This stuff is very strong, so enjoy with caution!

This week I also experimented with a wimp gimp workout. I’m not exactly satisfied with it, but at least it’s something!

Workout with a Broken Foot:
 
Day 1:
30 min. on the elliptical, one footed (no I’m not joking…)
20 reps of leg extensions x3
20 reps of 1 legged squats x3
20 reps of 1 leg extended triceps dips x3
20 reps each side fire hydrant drill x2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koh2eoSdG2Q
20 reps each side donkey kicks x2
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/exercise/glutes-exercises.htm
20 triceps kickbacks x2 (standing on 1 foot)
Abs – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh1Ol3RpOEc
Stretch
 
Day 2
30 min. elliptical, one footed
20 reps bicep curls x3 (on one foot)
10 reps side arm raises x3
10 reps lateral arm raises x3
1 min. plank, one foot lifted
20 push ups (on knees) x2
20 staggered push ups (on knees) x2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z8fCEYz1qQ
20 reps lat pull-down x3 (if you have the equipment)
Stretch

I also tried one footed yoga this week. All I can say is that I am going to be very imbalanced when I finally can use my right foot again! I go back to see the foot specialist on Monday…so hopefully they have good news for me! I would love to be allowed to swim for my cardio!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

 
 
 

When life gives you lemons, make mojitos???

 

Life has given me a couple of lemons lately…both literally and metaphorically speaking. Last weekend I broke my foot (no, there’s not even a crazy fun story to go along with it) and so, for the next 2 months I won’t be able to drive or walk on it, let alone compete in any of the races I was slotted for this summer.

I also had a bunch of lemons, literally, sitting in my fridge. 25 to be exact. Why did I have so many lemons you’re asking? I decided to make homemade limoncello. I bought 25 Meyer lemons (they are organic, and much sweeter than normal lemons), and the recipe for limoncello uses only the yellow part of the lemon peel. Hence, I was stuck with 25 peel-less lemons that needed to be used.  I like lemonade, but seriously, that’s a lot of lemonade. I’ve been craving a mojito lately, so I decided to try making mojitos with lemons instead of limes. Surprisingly, it turned out great! I may just make all my mojitos with lemons now!

Heres (roughly) the recipe I used! Sorry, no measurements!  : )

Good quality light rum
lots and lots of fresh mint
juice of fresh Meyer lemons
organic white sugar
club soda

 

Making limoncello is a loooong process. I’m still waiting in phase one. I peeled the lemons and now I have to let the lemons soak in grain alcohol for about a month. The peels have been soaking for a while…I plan to check on them this weekend! The next phase involves removing the lemon peels, making simple syrup to combine with the lemon mixture and then letting  it “age” some more. Patience is not one of my strong points…I can’t wait to taste it, hopefully it turns out!

SO, when life gives you lemons, make limoncello OR mojitos! This weekend I’m also going to think of some creative ways that I can work out without using my right foot, wish me luck! I should have a very innovative workout routine to tell you about next week!

Have a happy health day, and take advantage of life’s lemons!

Caitlin

 

Long Weekend <3

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Who doesn’t love a long weekend? I especially LOVE Memorial Day weekend because my birthday is May 30th, so I always get a 3 day weekend near my birthday! Can’t complain about that!

Needless to say, this weekend was a notably UNhealthy weekend. But, what it lacked in health it made up for in fun, friends, and family. Sometimes you just need a weekend like that! I ate lots grilled grub, had a few too many mojitos, and sat out by the pool all weekend long. But now that its Monday Tuesday, I’m more than ready to get back on the band wagon and get my butt into gear! Lucky for me, the sun is shining today, and as soon as the work day is done, this girl is going for a run outside, and then rock climbing!

My super awesome hubby got me the best birthday present ever this year…he got me a membership to Core Power Yoga! I’m going to go in for my first class this Saturday, and I am beyond excited! I’m sure I will get shown up by all the super amazing yogi’s that go to Core Power, but you gotta start some place, right?!

I have more exciting news for you! I am officially signed up for a sprint triathlon! Now I have some sort of race each month! I have the 5k in June, the Warrior Dash in July, and the Tri in August! I’m pretty excited about the triathlon! I’ve never done one before, but I swam for a few years in high school, and ran cross-country and track, so I think I should be ok. But I definitely WILL be doing a training program for it! More to come my triathlon adventure as I start training!

And in other news…it’s RHUBARB SEASON! I love LOVE rhubarb. Lucky for me, my birthday happens to be during rhubarb season. Rhubarb pie/crisp/cake/bars/cookies/muffins (ok get the idea?) are my favorite foods EVER. It’s an addiction. Did you know that the rhubarb capital of the country is in Minnesota? Apparently rhubarb is a Minnesotan thing…many outside the state have never heard of it! If you’ve never tried rhubarb, go to the store tonight and get some. You don’t know what you’ve been missing!

Some health facts about rhubarb (because I’m sure rhubarb crisp is really really healthy, right?!)

  •  1 cup of rhubarb = only 30 calories
  • when baked, contains polyphenols that destroy cancer cells
  • 1 cup = 10% of your daily calcium
  • good source of lutein – eye and skin health!
  • good source of lycopene – a very beneficial antioxidant

Whats your favorite rhubarb recipe?  : )

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

These are a few of my favorite (yoga) things…

I’ve been stuck in a yoga groove lately, which isn’t all bad. I attribute it partially to the fact that at my new job, theres lunchtime yoga available, so some times I’ll do yoga twice in one day. I’ve been able to get into some pretty crazy/awesome poses and balances that I never in a million years thought I’d be doing, which is pretty fun! I do need to get out and run more now that its spring (kinda), but seriously, yoga is addicting. It feels like the more you do it, the more you need to do it. But, since I’ve been doing yoga so much lately, I’ve come up with a few favorite (and NOT so favorite) yoga accessories to share with you!

1. Sticky Towel – LOVE IT

I can not tell you how much I LOVE this. It’s a microfiber towel with sticky grips on one side that you lay on top of a regular yoga mat. It’s smaller than a yoga mat and fits inside your gym bag. Much better than toting a gym bag and a yoga mat around! I’m not a germophobe, but it’s pretty gross using a gym mat in yoga class. I mean, really, your all over that thing. And I’m going to be honest. I sweat a lot in yoga class, especially in hot yoga, when it’s 112 degrees in there! When I’m on a normal yoga mat, I end up slipping all over the place. This mat prevents all of that nonsense. Best find ever!

2. Yoga Socks – Hate it

You’d think this would be a great idea. An easy way to prevent slippage, washable, and fits easily into the smallest of gym bags. Nope. First of all, they’re a b*!#? to get on, and your feet still slide around inside of the socks. Half way through class your socks will be all twisted up. And these socks do nothing to prevent your hands from slipping…I am NOT going to wear yoga gloves (yes they do exist). Plus, these socks look pretty dorky when paired with shorts.

3. Shiva Rea Daily Energy DVD – Love it

When you can’t/don’t want to make it to the gym, it’s nice to have the option of doing yoga at home! I’ve tried tons of yoga DVDs, and this is by far my favorite right now!

4. Camelback Water Bottle – Love it

This water bottle is awesome for any activity, not just yoga. I like it because the suck/straw drinking method means you don’t have to mess around with unscrewing the top off your water bottle in the middle of class when you want a drink (this is also super awesome for when your running on a treadmill!). Also, this water bottle is silent (it doesn’t make any awkward noises), a plus for the quiet yoga atmosphere.

Hopefully this motivates you to do some yoga this week!!!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Food of the week: Carrots!

I know your thinking, carrots…that’s not a very interesting ingredient! And I have to be honest with you, I’m not a huge carrot fan myself. I definitely don’t reach for carrots when I’m looking for a healthy snack. But I really want to like carrots, because they’re SOOOO cheap and they keep forever! So I went on a quest to find a few easy and healthy ways to use carrots that are a little more appetizing than just biting into a huge chunk of raw carrot. But first…some nutritional facts about carrots!

Health benefits of carrots:

  •  1 cup of carrots = 52 calories   That’s a lot of carrots!
  • Good source of dietary fiber (that’s the digestible kind!)
  • Great source of beta carotene…it boosts the immune system, promotes eye health and hair/skin/nail health
  • Good source of vitamins A, C, K, and Potassium

How to incorporate carrots into your diet this week:

  •  Use carrots to dip in your guacamole or humus instead of crackers or chips. Much healthier!
  • Moroccan Carrot Salad:   (This recipe sounds kind of weird, but I promise it’s REALLY good! And really easy!)        
    • 4 cups carrots, coarsely grated (I get the pre-done carrots!)
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon  paprika
    • Pinch of salt 
    •  1 teaspoon cayenne
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Oven Roasted Carrots:
  • 12 carrots
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 
  •  1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley

Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut carrots into ½ inch thick slices. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lay carrots on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 minutes. Toss with dill/parsley and enjoy!

  Have a happy healthy Day!

Caitlin

Moroccan Carrot Salad for lunch today! Yum yum! And it took me literally 1 minute to make last night!

 

 

I’m in love with my bobble

Ok, well maybe LOVE is a strong word, but seriously, you need to get this water bottle. Its called the Bobble bottle.

I am a huge fan of toting around a reusable water bottle. I find it SOOO wasteful when people go through hundreds and hundreds of disposable water bottles. Even if you are recycling them, you are wasting your money! It’s just silly! And yes, I know it’s a convenience factor, but it’s really not that hard to use a reusable water bottle. (come on ladies…i’ve seen the size of your purses…you could fit a small house inside of it, not to mention a water bottle)

The reason I love this bottle is because it’s the ultimate in convenience. It features a carbon filter inside of it (like what your Brita pitcher or fridge uses to make the water pure and good tasting), so you can refill it with any ole’ sink water and it still tastes great! It comes in a bunch of colors but of course, I have the pink bottle! It only costs $8, and you only need to purchase a new filter ($6 I think) every 3-4 months!  I also like the mouthpiece on this bottle. Unlike the Nalgene bottles, this one wont get your face wet if you take a drink too fast or hit a bump while drinking it in the car. I’ve seen this bottle at target, Macys, and a variety of other stores. Instead of buying a big crate of water on your next shopping trip, buy this bottle instead. Let me know what you think of it!

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Workplace Perils

Well, I started a new job this week!!!  I am happy to be putting away my interviewing suit in lieu of more comfortable (and CUTER) work clothes!  (Does anyone see a celebratory shopping trip coming up? Because I do!)  Everything is going great, but starting at a new workplace reminded me of all the health pitfalls that come along with having a “big girl” job.

1. First, there’s the fact that most jobs involve sitting for the majority of the day, often with bad posture.

Fix: Make sure your computer monitor/key board are set up to encourage good posture. Grab an old telephone book to elevate your monitor if necessary. Adjust your chair (if you can!) so that your knees are at a 90 degree angle with feet flat on the floor. And yes, make a conscious effort to sit straight (I know, I know, easier said than done)! (side note: I’ve noticed a huge difference in my posture since doing yoga once a week…it really does help!)

2. Eating out for lunch is expensive, and often unhealthy. But, you don’t want to be the bump on the log who refuses to socialize with your coworkers because you don’t want to go out to lunch. Plus, going out to eat seems so much easier than packing a lunch…whats a girl to do?

Fix: Avoiding eating out for lunch all the time is pretty impractical, but try to limit it. When you do go out, opt for ordering an appetizer, soup, or salad instead of a main entre. They are typically cheaper and healthier. Try to encourage your coworkers to eat in with you. A good way to encourage this is to make sure that when you eat in, you still take a break away from your desk and socialize while eating. (Helpful tip: stock up on ziplock screw-off tupperware…they’re disposable if necessary, and WONT SPILL!)

3. After a day of work, there are about 10 other things besides working out that need to get done…it’s easy to give priority to those other things and let your workouts slide.

Fix: One option is to work out early in the morning. If your like me and not a morning person (at all!), pack your workout bag in the morning and get to the gym right away, on your way home from work. You should be able to make it home at a reasonable time to have dinner, or run some errands or catch up with friends. My suggestion, however, is to get as many errands as possible done on the weekends. Still short on time? Combine meals with friends, they need to eat too!

My lunch today (in a Zip Lock container): tomato cucumber salad (dressing: basil, olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, salt and pepper)

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

What are your tips for staying healthy at work? Share!

Travel Tips – San Francisco

 Last week/weekend the Hubs and I went to San Francisco! Part business trip, part fun. Well, now were back in MN and the weather isn’t much different. It was cool and rainy most of the time we were in Cali, but we still managed to have some fun!  Ever the health conscious one, I’m now reporting back to you on the fun (and healthy) things you can eat and do in the San Francisco area!

1. Eat Seafood – We stayed on Fisherman’s Wharf and of course there was plenty of fresh seafood to be found. I prefer seafood over meat for both its taste and nutritional value, so I made sure to take FULL advantage of the fresh seafood! My favorites were the fresh crab right off the wharf and the seafood ceviche that I had at a mexican restaurant in Santa Cruz.

2. Walk walk walk – Walk wherever you can. San Francisco is a pedestrians town (but make sure to pack an umbrella if you visiting in March apparently!) We walked along the piers and saw some fun street performers and tourist attractions.  We walked to our St. Paddies Day destination (a block party about a mile away from our hotel), and we even visited the California red wood trees and did a mile loop in the pouring rain (note to self…next time bring rain boots!)

3. Eat Bread – woa woa woa. Yes you read that correctly. San Francisco is the birth place of sourdough bread, and it would be a SIN to miss out on some freshly-baked San Francisco sourdough bread when you visit. I’m not a big proponent of eating a lot of breads/starches, but if your going to eat bread while on vacation, San Francisco is the place to do it. Because its such a local specialty, the bread is made fresh on the spot, and doesn’t contain all the bad for you preservatives and corn syrups that most other breads contain. Just be careful how much you eat!

4. Go to the gym – Yes, even when travelling you should try to go to the gym a few times. Even the cheap hotels usually have a treadmill tucked away in some tiny room. Take advantage of this!

5. Drink LOTS of water – Flying is very dehydrating…and we all know what happens when were dehydrated…we have the tendency to overeat. Plus, it’s just not healthy to be dehydrated. So drink up while traveling!

Here are a few pictures from our trip!

St. Paddys Day! (yes im drinking a Guinness of course!)

Rainy walk through some redwoods!

mmmm fresh crab!

Seafood Ceviche from the mexican restaurant in Santa Cruz

Have a happy healthy day!

Caitlin

Saint Patties Day the Healthy Way?

I am a bit of an “American mutt”…a bit of this a bit of that…but I am particularly fond of my Irish heritage…especially this time of the year!  Saint Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, whats not to love?  It involves lots of drinking, good food, good friends, and occasional sightings of men wearing kilts.  Now, I know your thinking to your self…”I thought this was supposed to be a heathy living blog…”  Well, your absolutely right!  Healthy living doesn’t mean you never have a drink or never treat your self.  In fact, I think that avoiding social events for health reasons is borderline obsessive, which is NOT healthy.  Healthy living is more than eating healthy and exercising.  It’s also about mental health.  You need to be able to go out and have a good time with friends and family and not feel guilty about it.  BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t make healthiER choices while having fun.  And so, without further adieu, I give you the healthy living guide to St. Patties Day!

1. DRINK GUINNESS – First of all, it’s St. Patrick’s day. Put down the Bud and drink an Irish beer for one night of the year.  Second, Guinness is a heavy beer, so you will feel more full when drinking it, and thus drink less beer than you would if you were drinking something else.  Lastly, Guinness has fewer calories than you would expect. 16oz of Guinness contains just 196 calories (surprising for such a heavy beer!), not much more than a light beer! (16 oz of Michelob Golden Light has 146 calories!)

2. Skip the fried fare – Yes, fish’n’chips are a traditional irish dish, but there are plenty of other delicious irish dishes that aren’t deep-fried.  For a better (but still delicious option) try shepherds pie. The “crust”  is made out of mashed potatoes, and its filled with lamb or beef, loads of veggies, and tomatoes. You’ll get your Irish fix and your veggie fix all in one!

3. Do an Irish jig – OK so you don’t necessarily have to do an Irish jig, but if you’re at the bar this St. Patties day, get up and shake your booty a little! It can’t hurt to start burning those extra calories!

Cheers to St. Paddy!

Have a healthy happy day!

Caitlin 

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